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When sources don’t respond QT35

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Guideline:

The publication staff will provide every reasonable opportunity for sources to respond to a request for an interview. Students must first attempt to contact the source in person or through an administrative assistant. If the person is not available, they should attempt calling and leaving a message with a request for an in-person interview. If, after 24 hours, the source does not respond to the telephone call, staffers should send an email requesting an in-person interview with a clear deadline by which the staffer will include the line “the source did not respond to an interview request.”

Social media post/question:

What to do when a source does not respond?

Stance:

Publication staffs must make all reasonable attempts to secure an interview, and if they cannot get a response from a source, they must develop their credibility and show the reader they made an attempt to interview a source, but the source did not respond.

Key Points:

An easy way to stop or stall a story is to make sure the students never get an interview with the people who have the information. It’s easy for a source to ignore a request for an interview. What is your responsibility as a publication when reasonable attempts are made to secure an interview, but the source does not respond?

Reasoning/suggestions:

To maintain credibility with their readers and/or to show balance, publication staffers must show they followed proper procedures to offer right of response or to obtain pertinent information for a story. When a story goes out with important sources who have been omitted, readers have a right to question the veracity or intent of the story. Always let your readers know who you contacted for the story even if they ignored or rejected your request for an interview.

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